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Eric Panic's Profile

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Charleston Grill vs Peninsula Grill

I can't really speak for the Charleston Grill; however, I've had several memorable meals at the Peninsula Grill. Great attention to detail - both with the food and the service. Peninsula Grill is my favorite splurge restaurant in Charleston.

Sep 05, 2014
Eric Panic in Southeast

Downtown Charlotte question

Despite being seriously tempted by the menu at Dandelion Market, we ended up getting the wild mushroom pizza and farmers salad at Pure Pizza. We really enjoyed both - as well as the cupcake and brownies at the bakery in the market. Thanks for the recommendations and we'll definitely hit Dandelion Market next time.

Nov 20, 2013
Eric Panic in Southeast

Downtown Charlotte question

Walking distance is preferable. Prefer sit down, but counter service is Ok - like Biscuit Head, Homegrown or 12 bones up here in Asheville. By best options - we're basically looking for a place relatively close to the arena where we can enjoy a couple of beverages and a light meal before the Eagles concert on Friday. Type of cuisine isn't as important as quality - we are both pretty adventurous eators.

Nov 11, 2013
Eric Panic in Southeast

Downtown Charlotte question

What are the best options for casual dining near the Time Warner Arena. Thanks.

Nov 11, 2013
Eric Panic in Southeast

Goodbye, F.I.G, *sniff*

Sue - Sure have appreciated all of your Charleston recommendations. Looking forward to reading about your experiences in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area.

Aug 19, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Bele Chere street food & drink rec's pls!

Ultimate Ice Cream typically has a several unique flavors at their shops (the one at Charlotte Street is close to downtown). They typically have a couple of standards (which are still very good) and a couple of slightly more interesting ones. The good news is it's peach/blueberry/blackberry season down here and their peach ice cream is great.

Jul 10, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Bele Chere street food & drink rec's pls!

The Bele Chere website now has the food vendors listed:

http://belecherefestival.com/Experien...

The only one I would strongly recommend is Ultimate Ice Cream. Home Grown has some mean fried chicken, but I don't know if they are serving it at Bele Chere. Holy Trinity Greek Church has some solid Greek street food - nothing fancy. Their Greek festival in the fall is better. We sometimes grab something to snack on; however, we always have our meals in one of the restaurants.

Jul 09, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Bele Chere street food & drink rec's pls!

I like both and have had several good experiences at each. To me, Curate is more about consistancy - they have their standard menu and they strive to do it as good as they can. The food at Zambra is more adventuresome - they have an extensive list of nighly specials in addition to their regular menu. Curate is typically more boisterous and has a higher energy level. Zambra has live entertainment and the occasional belly dancer. Either should be fine for your 10 year old. I do recommend making reservations.

Jul 05, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Bele Chere street food & drink rec's pls!

"Bele Chere" has no true meaning or translation. At one time, the bele chere folks tried to claim that it meant "beautiful living" but was unable to find a language with said translation.

To me, it means go to a good restaurant like Curate or Zambra, enjoy some good music, and the best people watching of the year.

http://www.mountainx.com/article/1476...

Jul 04, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Bele Chere street food & drink rec's pls!

Good advice from Mark. The past couple of years, my wife and I have enjoyed some very good meals at Curate, Zamba, The Market Place, etc, instead of eating on the street. Freshly prepared food, air conditioning and clean restrooms beat street food any day of the week. If you must have some street food, the local restaurants are up on Pack Square. The food court vendors at Pritchard Park are out-of-towners.

Another good place for beers is Pack's Tavern - 30 taps. Mellow Mushroom has a boatload of taps, but I would not eat there and their service can be iffy at best. The LAB (Lexington Avenue Brewery) and Jack of the Woods have some good brews - I would expect both to be busy.

Couple of other thoughts for a good weekend - sunscreen is a must. There is very little shade at the music stages. Form over fashion - comfortable shoes are very important. Be prepared for late afternoon thunderstorms. Be ready for a goodly amount of diversity that helps keep Asheville weird.

Jul 02, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Biltmore Village restaurants (Asheville)

Several of the Biltmore Village restaurants are teaming up for a restaurant week March 9-18 with 3 for $30 specials.

http://www.biltmorevillagerestaurantw...

Mar 02, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Asheville Public

My wife and I were there Friday evening and had a nice experience. The menu is relatively limited with a focus on the house-made sausages. We started with the fried calamari app - the calamari was flash fried with a light coating, served on a bed of arugula and topped with a spicy aioli. The coating was a little salty, but the calamari was very tender and we enjoyed the combination of flavors. I had the blacked catfish reuben which was good; however, the fried grouper reuben at the East Village Grille is better. My wife had the burger and commented that it is as good as any she has had in Asheville (and we have tried them all). The burger was good and thick and they did not skimp on the cheese. The restaurant was busy and fairly noisy - not the place for an intimate dinner. The server was personable and did a nice job. The kitchen was fairly fast getting the food out. Our appetizer was delivered only a few minutes after we ordered. The tab for an appetizer, two sandwiches, two beers, one glass of wine and tax - $44.
Definitely worth a return visit - especially when going to the Gray Eagle for a show.

Feb 19, 2012
Eric Panic in Southeast

Need 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners in Asheville for 2 Atlanta Foodies

The best dining experience I've had this year was at Curate.

Aug 12, 2011
Eric Panic in Southeast

Charleston Low Country Recommendations

Sue is right in that many of the downtown restaurants will book up well in advance. Several of the restaurants use Opentable.com for reservations.

My wife and I were in Charleston earlier this week and had excellent experiences at SNOB and Oak Steakhouse (Sue, you were dead on about the lobster, shrimp mac and cheese). Previously, we have had memorable experiences at the Peninsula Grill.

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Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Oak Steakhouse
17 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Apr 07, 2011
Eric Panic in Southeast

Charleston questions

Halls Chophouse or Oak?
Charleston Grill or Peninsula Grill?
Hanks or Amen Street?
Husk - real deal or not?

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Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Charleston Grill
224 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Halls Chophouse
434 King St., Charleston, SC 29403

Mar 25, 2011
Eric Panic in Southeast

Hamburger- Asheville

Cedric's at the Biltmore Estate will cook their burgers rare. Fresh, local beef - very tasty.

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Biltmore Estate
1 Approach Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

Jul 18, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

Charleston: 3 dinners...down to 5 choices

If the Peninsula Grill hes the lamb porterhouses as a special, get them. I had them back in March and still daydream about them - what an excellent dish.

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Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Jun 13, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

Best Supermarkets in Asheville?

Whole Foods is purchasing the Greenlife on Merrimon.

I do most of my shopping at Earth Fare and at the North Asheville tailgate market at UNCA.

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Earth Fare
12235 N Community House Rd, Charlotte, NC

May 07, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

Canton/Candler (NC) area restaurant choices

Growing up in Canton, there were only a couple of places worth going to: Dixon's Little Boy - a classic drive-in with very good fries and Skeeters - a barbeque joint. Both closed 5-10 years ago. There is a little diner in Bethel called the Jukebox Junction and it is pretty good but nothing fancy. They do have very good milk shakes.

Apr 26, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

So, where will the Obamas eat in Asheville?

Lunch @ 12 bones. Local paper is reporting that downtown traffic is seriously jammed and is advising everyone not to come downtown.

Apr 23, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

North Charleston Sunday brunch

We are arriving Sunday so that my wife can enjoy the homes and gardens tours early in the week. We come to Charleston often and have dined at many of the restaurants downtown including all that you mentioned - just looking to do something different.

Mar 26, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

North Charleston Sunday brunch

Any recommendations for Sunday brunch in North Charleston?
Thanx.

Mar 26, 2010
Eric Panic in Southeast

Asheville - Grove Park Inn- Sunset Terrace

The GPI has been adding the service charge for at least 20 years. The house 3% cut easily generates 200 - 300K (probably more) a year in income.

Asheville - Grove Park Inn- Sunset Terrace

The grove park inn adds an 18% service charge - 15% goes to the server, 3% goes to the house.

Christmas Eve in Asheville

The restaurants at the Grove Park Inn will be open; however, they will probably be very busy. You can check out their menus online and I recommend making reservations as soon as possible. The restaurants at the Inn at the Biltmore Estate will probably be open as well. Most of the local restaurants are typically closed.

Best Place to Buy Seafood In Asheville?

I have been very pleased with the fish I've bought at Greenlife on Merrimon. They are a little pricey, but the fish is very fresh.

Good place to treat someone to in Asheville area?

Here are a few thoughts concerning the Grove Park Inn and other options.

The views and the settings are spectacular. There is typically live entertainment in the Great Hall every night and a singer in the Blue Ridge Dining Room on weekends. However, the primary focus at the GPI is its rooms division and development of million dollar condos and a butt-ugly building downtown. As such, the restaurants suffer from neglect - not that the current management team would know how to run a great restaurant anyway. The food is average at best and way overpriced. A service charge is added to the check (except for Horizons) and some servers take advantage of the guaranteed “tip”.

The best restaurant I’ve been to this year was FIG in Biltmore. The food was very fresh and of high quality, nicely prepared, and steaming hot when delivered to our table. Service was very good as well. The wine list, while slightly limited, had several interesting options (there are a couple of very good small vineyard Burgundy’s). It was refreshing to see a wine list without the same old same olds. On the down side, the dining room is incredibly small. The last time we were there, a guest at a nearby table made an off-color remark that was easily heard by everyone in the dining room and probably the dishwasher in the kitchen.

Another option would be the Market Place on Wall Street. Some on this board feel that is too traditional or “tired” (I know, the chocolate lava cake is so 1998); however, I’ve always had a good experience there. The Market Place may not be as adventuresome as some of the restaurants here in town, but the food I’ve had was always well prepared and the service good. The wine list is much more extensive than Fig’s. JMHO

Very Specific Asheville Questions

No one in Asheville has really good chicken livers (however, the chicken liver pate on Modesto's old menu was superb). The best place for chicken livers in the area is a little place in Waynesville called Clyde's Restaurant.

Chorizo (Asheville) - mixed review

There are 2 factors at work here - first, the state has a monopoly on all liquor sales thus there is no competition. No competition results in higher prices - especially when you consider just how "efficient" most state agencies are. Secondly, liquor sold to restaurants and bars have an additional $3.75 tax added to each 750 ml bottle.

The Lobster Trap - Asheville, NC

MY wife and I are locals and we love the place. It is very casual and a great place to kick back and enjoy some good food. We often go for a couple of salads and a couple of appetizers - not that there is anything wrong with the entrees we've had. They always have live music from 7-9 and their wine list is reasonably priced.